How to downgrade iOS 18 to iOS 17 — beta issues? Get back to a stable release

iPadOS 18
(Image credit: Apple)

Have you just installed the new iOS 18 beta and are having regrets? If you chose to install the developer beta on your iPhone and the bugs and stability issues are too much for you to keep going, it’s easy to downgrade iOS 18 to iOS 17.

Unfortunately, you’ll lose any data that wasn’t backed up or anything that you’ve done since updating to iOS 18 but if your iPhone is having issues then downgrading back to a stable release is the fix.

Here’s how to downgrade iOS 18 to iOS 17.

Downgrade iOS 18 to iOS 17

The first step to downgrading from iOS 18 to iOS 17 is putting your device in recovery mode. Once complete, plug the phone into your computer and Finder on your Mac or iTunes on your Windows PC should launch automatically; if it doesn't, launch the software manually. iTunes will detect your device in recovery mode and ask you what you want to do.

  1. Click Restore on the Finder popup
  2. Click Restore and Update to confirm

  1. Click Next on the iOS 17 Software Updater
  2. Click Agree to accept the Terms and Conditions and start downloading iOS 17

If your device reboots to iOS 18 before the download is complete, simply repeat the steps above and put it back into Recovery Mode. Once the download is complete, your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch will be restored to the older version of iOS.

Once the restore is complete you'll be back on a stable release of iOS 17 without all the bells and whistles of the latest software coming to iPhone later this year. You're not missing out, however, most of the big features coming in iOS 18 are thanks to Apple Intelligence and that won't be available for a while anyway.

In the meantime, you can access features like the ability to Type to Siri on iOS 17 without the need for iOS 18. Yes, it's not quite as swanky as the new update but it gets the job done and is incredibly useful.

It's also worth noting that as long as you backup before updating to betas, you shouldn't ever have an issue going back to older software. However, Apple will stop signing off older software at some point and then you're stuck on the latest software for good.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit. 

  • Just_Me_D
    Thus far, iOS 18 Developer Beta 1 has been stable - at least it has been on my iPhone 14 Pro.
  • Ledsteplin
    The only issues I've had is with a few apps. Some developers have not updated yet. Some still testing. I had one odd thing happen. I had 42 gb of storage space available on my iPhone 14 Pro Max. When I first tried to update, it said I did not have enough space. So I deleted a few things. Then it worked. But surely it didn't require over 40 gb of space to update. After updating, my available space remained about what it was with iOS 17.